November 05, 2014

Halfway between Surfers and PSVs, the FSIVs (Fast Supply Intervention Vessels) provide support to offshore installations by enabling the urgent transport of both personnel and supplies. The BOURBON fleet now has nearly 30 of these vessels, including a latest-generation series with a straight-bow design.

Sumatra... Behind this name for a squall hides the newest BOURBON FSIV. The group, which first offered a range of personnel transport vessels in 1986, has continued to expand its fleet ever since, with one watchword: quality of service. With the Sumatra, and her sister ships Calima and Maraamu, BOURBON is taking another step towards the operational safety, passenger comfort, and speed of its vessels. This series of vessels is the result of our teams' 30 years of experience and expertise.

Improved speed, by design

The vessel's most visible characteristic, the straight bow, by increasing the length of the waterline, is a decisive factor in terms of cruising speed. Thus, these FSIVs boast a cruising speed of 26 knots, which is a real asset for maximize transfers to and from platforms.

"Our goal is still the same: providing our clients with fast, comfortable, and innovative vessels."
Denis MercierProject manager

The sixth FSIV built in Vietnam, this aluminum vessel equipped with dynamic positioning class 2 (DP2), is also the result of specific research in order to reduce the noise levels in the cabins. The bow thrusters, normally hydraulic, are now electric. A special coating near the bow thrusters, and particular attention paid regarding the accommodations (bulkheads with sound absorbing ability, floating floors) have helped to reduce the resonance of the aluminum.
"The previous series of Sirocco, Shamal, etc. had given rise to many technical advances, but we decided to take it even further with the Sumatra, especially in terms of passenger comfort," says Denis Mercier, project manager. "Our goal is still the same: providing our clients with fast, comfortable, and innovative vessels. Sumatra and her sister vessels fully meet these specifications." Additionally, the interior has been redesigned to make the vessel more welcoming.

As an added bonus, the bridge now occupies the entire width of the FSIV, and on one level. The crew therefore has an almost panoramic 360° view, ensuring safety during approach phases at offshore installations or loading – unloading of cargo. The vessel is also FIFI 11 + waterspray2 rated.

The Sumatra, Calima and Maraamu will be joining the Bourbon Offshore Surf fleet in mid-November.

Vessels in constant evolution

In just 10 years, to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry, the FSIVs in the BOURBON fleet have evolved considerably. What were called simply crew boats also received a name change, a sign of their new status.

Larger (almost 175 feet compared to 100 previously), more powerful (4 x 1,340 kW thrusters for a top speed of almost 30 knots), more versatile (payload multiplied by 100, possibility of carrying bulk liquids) but also more welcoming (use of acoustic insulation, improved seat quality), the latest-generation FSIVs are adapted to the new demands of the offshore oil and gas industry.
So much so they are now coming into competition with supply vessels for certain operations, such as safety stand-by at the oil fields. The group's vessels could also be retrofitted in the future of with Vsat3, currently reserved for supply vessels.

More about


1 Fire Fighting System
2 System of fire-control equipment, for spraying water with a misting effect to protect the vessel during the approach phase at an offshore installation on fire.
3 Satellite telecommunications equipment

Bourbon behind the scenes